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Nelly Kim Furtado was born on December 2, 1978 in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada to a Potugese-Canadian family. An accomplisehd Singer-songwriter, record producer, and instrumentalist, Nelly's eclectic mix of Pop, folk, R&B, hip hop, and world music changed the face of the industry and she continues to experiement with different sounds and instruments to broaden the diverse blend of talent she has.
Nelly Furtado heavily credits her ethnic background and childhood for culturally and crucially spawning her creativity as a female and as an inspiring musician. Furtado's working-class parents, who are of Portuguese decent, instilled a hardcore work ethic during her upbringing. She spent eight summers working as a chambermaid with her housekeeping mother, quickly realizing what it meant to honestly make a living.
She began playing instruments at the age of nine, learning the trombone, ukulele and, in later years, the guitar and keyboard. She began writing songs at the age of twelve and, as a teenager, she played in a Portuguese marching band. She turned to music for enjoyment, learning to play the guitar and the ukulele, and listened to mainstream RB like Mariah Carey, TLC, Jodeci, Salt-N-Pepa, and Bell Biv DeVoe. But Hip-hop was also a big catalyst in shaping Furtado's musical appreciation. After high school, she headed to Toronto where she worked at an alarm company by day and experienced the music scene by night. She joined a hip-hop duo, Nelstar, and this opportunity led Furtado back to her hip-hop influences of De La Soul and Digable Planets. This allowed her to get comfortable with writing her own melodies and freestyle rhymes.
Nelly began performing at local Toronto clubs, and was instantly discovered by Canadian funk-pop group Philosopher Kings who were impressed by Furtado's strong stage pressence and asked her if she wanted to do a demo. With that, she landed her first record deal with Dreamworks and released her debut album Whoa, Nelly! in 2000. Her first singles from the album I'm Like A Bird and Turn Off The Light receieved wide recognition from a growing number of fans, especially when she headlined a tour with Moby in the Area:One summer tour. Furtado's greatest achievement followed a year later when she earned four Grammy nods, including Song of the Year for I'm Like a Bird.
Folklore appeared in November 2003, nearly two months after Furtado gave birth to her first child, a daughter named Nevis from then boyfriend DJ/producer Jasper Gahunia aka Lil' Jaz. Nevis is culturally a quarter Filipino, a quarter Indian, and half Portuguese. Furtado has chosen to raise her in Toronto due to the city's cultural diversity, open-mindedness, and grassroots political activism.
The album was not as successful as her debut, failing to capitalize on the success of her previous work, and the less poppy sound. She didn't return to limelight until summer 2006, with her third record, Loose. Produced almost entirely by Timbaland and boasting a much more appealing and timely style, the album earned significant attention, putting Furtado's career back on the fast track. Lead track Promiscuous became an instant hit, earning Furtado a number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Loose also topped the Billboard Top 200 album chart during its first week of release in later June 2006, becoming Furtado's first-ever number one album.
Awards & Certifications
|2000||Grammy Awards||Song of the Year for I'm Like A Bird|
|2002||Grammy Awards||Best Female Pop Vocal Performance|
|2006||Video Music Awards||Best Female Video, Best Pop Video, Best Dance Video|
|Year||Title||US Hot 100||UK Singles||Album|
|2000||I'm Like A Bird||9||5||Whoa, Nelly!|
|2001||Turn Off The Light||5||2||Whoa, Nelly!|
|...On the Radio (Remember the Days)||--||18||Whoa, Nelly!|
|2003||Powerless (Say What You Want)||--||13||Folklore|
|2006||Promiscuous" (featuring Timbaland)||1||--||Loose|
Tours & Concerts
- 9/8/2006 Stratford Ovation Music Festival, Canada
- 9/8/2006 Radio City Music Hall Fashion Rocks 2006 CBS 9 PM EST
MAKE A QUILT FOR NELLY FURTADO! We're looking for dedicated Nelly Furtado fans to help make quilt-blocks devoted to Nelly for a special quilt we are creating and auctioning off (with 100% of the proceeds going to Nelly Furtado's favorite charity The Land Conservancy.) While the quilt will consist of blocks made by her fans, Nelly Furtado will be contributing to the finished quilt by personalizing the center square herself! Plus, if your block is selected for the final quilt, you'll win an autographed photo from Nelly Furtado. (8/2/06 11:55)
|Whoa Nelly 2000, Dreamworks|
|Folklore 2003, Universal|
|Loose 2006, Geffen|
Compilations & Live Releases
- Nelly Furtado: Party's Just Begun (Again) (2000, 12"vinyl promo single)
- Sessions@AOL - (2004, 4-track digital EP, exclusively available at iTunes)
- When she has a crush on a male celebrity, she instructs her manager to tell the object of her affection about her intentions.
- She Has revealed she has been studying a book about Chinese medicine which claims people can find both sexes attractive, and says it has made her realize she has lesbian tendencies herself.
- She speaks Portuguese and Hindi fluently.
- Being a mother, she doesn't have time to go to clubs. So she puts fake club scenes in her videos to make it look like she gets out more.
- She will make her acting debut on a film, Nobody's Hero, to be released in 2006. She plays an American Muslim who's the love interest of a young soldier who has just returned from the Iraq War.